Dear Matt: I’m as socially liberal as the next guy. Anything that empowers women to be more promiscuous is OK by me, and I’d marry a gay man if he had lots of hot girl friends. But I recently discovered what the BT in LGBT stands for and I’m having a major crisis of liberal conscience. Bi people get their own thing? Seriously? SERIOUSLY? Any homosexual man worth his salt will tell you a bi fella is a gay in waiting. And bi women are just a bill of goods porn’s been selling for years. The T? I’m not even clear on the definition of “transsexual” apart from its requiring major, invasive surgery. I’ve always wondered what a mangina looks like but that hardly seems like a reason to give these folks equal-billing. I thought we were just supposed to feel really sorry for them. Are the LG’s even aware of who’s riding their coattails? Somebody had better tell them. Should I? All best, Colin
So see, your hateful bi-and-transphobia aside, this column isn’t just here for me to teach. It’s here for me to learn. I don’t generally keep up with the kids and their acronyms. Because TBH, it’s a real PIA to learn all of them – there’s not enough hours in the day, and YOLO, as I’m told the children say. But all this time, I thought the “BT” in LGBT stood for “BlueTooth.” I feel like a ridiculous person.
If you’ll permit a one-paragraph digression (as if you have any say), not only didn’t I get the connection, but I’m violently against Bluetooths (Blueteeth?). For some reason, even though we have all manner of devices available to easily communicate, a certain segment of the population – particularly middle-aged African American men, insist on wearing these absurdities, even when there’s no one on the other end of the line. Go to any predominantly black mall or hangout, and you will see that this is not even a vaguely racist statement, just an incontrovertible point of fact, like noticing that Irish people drink too much, or that Mexicans like Mother Mary statuary, or that all white people love “The Wire,” or pretend to. Yes, Bluetooth wearer, we know you’re an important person who is expecting a call at any moment, and therefore, must be on standby. But your electronic ear trumpet makes you look BLINGS, IMHO.
As for the LGBT designation, it does seem like a marriage of convenience. Like the Grievance Group Union (GGU) ran out of room, and so needed to jam everyone into the same work space. It doesn’t make much sense. The randomness of it feels like the acronym-equivalent of 52 Pick-up, as though it just as easily could have become LBTO – Lesbian Bachman Turner Overdrive – for all its meaninglessness and lack of clarity.
As a straight male, I have more affinity with the “L’s” in LGBT – we are both, after all, staunch proponents of having sex with women – than the G’s and the T’s do. Sure, the B’s are purportedly with us half the time. But as we in the LS (Lesbian/Straight) community say, you’re either in, or you’re out. And then the poor T’s, God love ‘em, can’t decide if they’re innies or outties. They’re sort of inside-outters, for lack of a better word. And what I rarely see addressed in these LGBT discussions, is whether as a T, if you were a man who became a woman, who loves men, do you still have common cause with the G’s, or are you now with the BS’s. (Bisexual/Straights). And people think BT’s are confused? Not as confused as I am.